Bluetooth to Adopt Wireless HD Capabilities

The Bluetooth wireless standard used increasingly in cell phones and other portable devices soon will make a huge leap in transmission speed for the short-distance transfer of HD video and other very large "files." The industry group behind Bluetooth said it plans to boost transfer speeds in the next few years by incor
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The Bluetooth wireless standard used increasingly in cell phones and other portable devices soon will make a huge leap in transmission speed for the short-distance transfer of HD video and other very large "files." The industry group behind Bluetooth said it plans to boost transfer speeds in the next few years by incorporating UWB (Ultra Wide Band), the Associated Press reports.

Bluetooth now works mostly for low-speed applications such as cell phone earbuds and wireless keyboards. UWB (which has yet to really appear in consumer devices) will enable wireless transmissions at speeds equivalent to USB or FireWire cables at distances up to about 13 feet.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group said the first products with high-speed Bluetooth may show up by late 2007, with much wider availability in 2008. UWB is developed by another industry group, the WiMedia Alliance, which includes Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. (A camcorder, i.e., with WiMedia technology could transmit HD video wirelessly to an HD monitor in the same room.)

The Bluetooth namesake comes from King Harald Blatan (known far and wide as "Bluetooth") of Denmark, who ruled back in the 10th century. The tech tie-in comes from Ericsson, the Scandinavian company that reportedly was the first to develop the wireless format for business and consumer usage.